Media outlets report that the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter said Thursday they have given a 60-day notice of their plans to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the terminal's permit.
The Richmond-based groups say the corps did not properly consider the terminal's potential risks to endangered species.
The Yorktown terminal is owned and operated by Plains Marketing, a division of Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline LP.
Two Yorktown-bound trains have derailed and exploded in recent years. One occurred along the James River in Lynchburg in April 2014. The other was in February in Mount Carbon, West Virginia.